The Presidential Investigative Committee on the vandalism of the Moshood Abiola National Stadium today submitted its report to the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare.
In his submission, the Chairman of the Committee, DIG Sanni Mohammed (Rtd) thanked the Federal Government, through the Minister for finding the committee members worthy of the assignment, stating the Committee adhered strictly to the terms of reference and did its utmost to make far-reaching recommendations.
The Chairman revealed that in the course of their assignment, the Committee undertook physical inspection of the Stadium, and went through its investigation adopting standard best practices. He advised that in subsequent Committees of similar jurisdiction, the terms of reference should include powers to investigate “any other incidental matter relating to the subject matter”.
Throwing some light into the Committee’s recommendations, he stated thus, “One of our key recommendations is that Protocol and Security Officials should be involved in the planning stage of future events or tournaments while the sale of bottled water and canned drinks should be banned within the precincts of the football pitch as they can be weaponised,” DIG Mohammed(Retd) emphasised.
In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Ismaila Abubakar went down memory lane to narrate how the unfavourable outcome of the Nigeria-Ghana World Cup qualifier match led to the vandalism of parts of the Stadium which necessitated the setting up of the investigative Committee. He expressed optimism that the report will assist the Ministry in preventing future recurrence.
The Minister in his response after receiving the report, thanked the Committee for the extensive nature of their work which he stated is very impressive. He promised full implementation of the report, whilst emphasizing its recommendations with serve as new Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the Ministry and NFF in planning for future events.
Restating his resolve to sanction culprits of the vandalism, Dare assured that where they are identified in the report, the full weight of the law will be brought upon them to serve as a deterrent. The Minister though regretted the fine imposed on Nigeria as a result of the vandalism, but expressed satisfaction that the Stadium was not banned as it is billed to play host to Nigeria’s first game of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers in early June.